Valeria shares one of her delicious culinary confidences with a story and recipe about Pasta alla Genovese and how it changes style and ingredients in Abruzzo and the small art town of Penne.
Southern Italy’s Pasta alla Genoese can generate frequent misunderstandings and possible disputes between Abruzzo and the origins of this dish in Napoli, Campania. In Abruzzo it is par excellence, a winning mix of sautéed, mushrooms, meat and peas sprinkled with oil and white wine, in the second it is the triumph of the onions flaked by the long, sweet, exhausting cooking together with the beef and lots of white wine.
However in the Pennesi countryside, on the other hand, it becomes used as a ‘condiment’ on Sundays when housewives want to vary the classic menu and, above all, lighten the load in the kitchen by avoiding the long cooking of a meat ragù. At this time of year, peas have just arrived from the garden, small and turgid pods with pearls just waiting to be shelled and release their sweetness.
A Pennese Summer Take on Pasta alla Genovese with Minted Cream of Peas
- 140 g 00 Flour
- 140 g Durum Wheat Semolina
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 250 g 250 g Mixed Mushrooms
- 200 g Mince Beef
- 1/2 Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1/2 Finely Chopped Carrot
- 3 Glugs Dry White Wine
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Minted Pea Cream
- 250 g Peas
- 100 g Grated Parmesan
- 4 Leaves Mint
To Make the Pappardelle
- Mix the two flours together in a bowl and then add onto a pastry board and push into a fountain shape. Pour the eggs in the centre and begin to incorporate the flour with the help of a fork: the dough will become denser and more consistent, after a little bit it will then be possible to work it with your hands. If it is too dry, add a little hot water as needed, continue to knead until a soft, smooth and non-sticky dough is obtained, cover with cling film and leave to rest.
To Make the Pea and Mint Cream
- Blanch the peas for 5 minutes in salted water, drain and rinse them in cold water so as to maintain their bright colour. Season with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, pepper, mint leaves, parmesan, blend adding a little cold water if needed. , until a smooth cream is obtained, filter through a sieve and set aside.
To Make the Genovese Style Meat
- In a pan, sauté the mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil with a clove of garlic and a sprig of rosemary, add salt. Once they are ready, remove them from the pan, set them aside and then in this pan cook your carrot-based minced meat and onion, season with salt, deglaze with white wine.
Cutting, Cooking and Dressing Your Pasta
- Roll out the pasta dough with the help of the machine or with a rolling pin if you want to obtain a more rustic texture. Fold the two edges of the pastry towards the centre and cut perpendicularly every 3 cm approximately. Once the pappardelle is cut, cook it in a large pan full of salted water. Drain, season with the Genoese, and serve by placing the mint pea cream on the bottom of the bowl with the pasta on top.
Valeria di Giansante was born in Penne 30 years ago. She is a restorer of cultural heritage who reconciles her passion for food and wine culture through Culinarie Confidenze, a virtual space to communicate through food and talk about other things close to her heart, Abruzzo is up there with them! View her work on FB and Instagram